hydraulic fracturing of onshore unconventional reservoirs will
not be approved across in the Northern Territory until the
Government has considered the outcomes of an independent
it applies to the whole of the Northern Territory;
it applies to hydraulic fracturing of unconventional
reservoirs, as well as the use of Diagnostic Fracture Injection
it applies to hydraulic fracturing under any permit or licence,
which means that fracking will not be approved whether it is for
exploration or extraction; and
it is not retrospective, which means that it does not apply to
Inquiry Terms of Reference
The Inquiry and its expert panel will investigate the potential
risks and impacts of using hydraulic fracturing in the exploration
and production of unconventional onshore oil and gas
Under the draft Terms of Reference, which are now available for
public consultation, the Panel is to:
Provide advice on whether hydraulic fracturing of
unconventional reservoirs can be safely and effectively undertaken
under best-practice conditions, without adverse impacts on
environmental, social and economic values of the Northern
Assess the scientific evidence to determine the potential
effects of hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoirs
Land and terrestrial ecosystems
Human health, particularly with respect to the use and
regulation of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of
unconventional reservoirs processes
Current and future land uses (eg. pastoral production)
Emissions (eg. fugitive emissions)
Identify any additional, industry-specific regulatory
requirements necessary to complement the reforms already being
implemented through the existing environmental reform process to
ensure the Northern Territory meets best-practice standards in
relation to hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoirs.
Assess the effectiveness of common mitigation and
rehabilitation methods used throughout the hydraulic fracturing of
unconventional reservoirs processes.
Advise on research priorities to improve on the current base of
scientific understanding and assist the Government's need for
further evidence to inform decision-making.
The Panel has also been told to consider the following matters
when providing its advice:
The aim of the Government to ensure the safety and security of
environmental, social and economic values.
The adequacy of research and monitoring and reporting
The potential of long-term cumulative impacts associated with
hydraulic fracturing of unconventional reservoirs.
The questions and concerns that have been raised by the
community, which will then shape the research, data and evidence
examined by the panel.
Making submissions and the future of fracking regulation
in the Northern Territory
Submissions can be made
online on the Government's website.
Once the Terms of Reference have been finalised, an expert
panel, which will include individuals with expertise in geology,
ecology / natural resource management, hydrology, hydrogeology,
ecotoxicology, geochemistry, environmental regulation and onshore
oil and gas industry, will be appointed.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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